Tag: Monopoly and Antitrust

Google Agonistes »

News reports on Tax Day suggest that the European Commission wants to nail Google Inc.’s scalp to the wall as punishment for committing alleged antitrust (competition) law violations. At issue is the way in which the company assigns priorities to the links consumers see when they “google” generic search terms like “booksellers”, “cameras”, and…
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A Case for Patent Reform »

For many decades most economists believed patents were key to the innovation and material progress enjoyed by the West. In recent years, however, many have looked at patents with growing skepticism, with some even suggesting that the patent system be scrapped. In contrast, economist Arthur M. Diamond Jr. (Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha) believes…
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Peter Thiel’s Contrarian Manifesto »

[Editor’s Note: The Independent Institute is hosting a sold-out event, “Developing the Developed World: Entrepreneurship, Liberty, and the Future,” with Peter Thiel on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.] “Every moment in business happens only once. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a…
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Jean Tirole, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences »

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Jean Tirole of the Toulouse School of Economics. According to Reuters, the prize recognizes Professor Tirole’s work aimed at “taming” private business firms through governmental regulatory interventions and antitrust law enforcement. That summary is true as far as it goes. Professor Tirole indeed spent…
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A Very Weak Case for Hospital Mergers »

One consequence of Obamacare is hich can reduce competition and increase prices. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, MD, CEO and President of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, puts forward a number of claims in favor of hospital consolidation. Each assertion is weak, making an unconvincing argument overall. First, Dr….
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Chicago Teachers Union Boss and Classic Champagne Socialism »

It’s a busy time of year for Chicago Teachers Union President, Karen Lewis. Two years ago just in time for Labor Day, she was helping organize the city’s first teachers’ strike in more than 25 years—a move that was highlighted at the Midwest Marxist Conference. Last year she was busy blaming the Chicago Public…
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Muckraker or Special Pleader? »

In “A Brief History of Media Muckraking”, the Wall Street Journal’s Amanda Foreman traces the contributions of “reform-minded journalists from Ida Tarbell to [Bob] Woodward” and a few others who spilled newspaper ink writing about abuses of power by the private and the public sector. Obviously a fan of the progress made during the…
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Bork on Antitrust »

Following up Carl’s post, while Bork is remembered largely as a Constitutional scholar, his important early contributions dealt with antitrust. He was sharply critical of the modern application of US antitrust law, while remaining wedded to the Knight-Friedman-Stigler idea of perfect competition as a welfare benchmark, leading to a number of confusions and contradictions….
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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The High Cost of Solar »

Residents of Hawaii were dismayed to see this recent front-page headline: “Hawaii Solar Savings Spark Higher Electric Bills.” Since so many consumers have sought electrical savings from installing solar panels, the state-monopoly electric utility is losing revenue and now needs to make it up in higher rates. At least Hawaii’s perennially sunny weather will…
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France Fines Google: Is Atlas Shrugging? »

In Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, businesses push government to pass law after law that aids weaker businesses by penalizing successful ones. There’s the “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule” to prevent destructive competition among firms in an industry, and the “Equalization of Opportunity Bill” that limits the number of businesses one person can own….
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